Dr Natalia Smelova

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Natalia Smelova is a postdoctoral research associate in the AHRC project "The Syriac Galen Palimpsest: Galen's On Simple Drugs and the Recovery of Lost Texts through Sophisticated Imaging Techniques". Her research areas cover the identification and transcription of the undertext in the Syriac Galen Palimpsest, studying the overtext in the context of the history of the Melkite Syriac liturgical books, and the codicological description of both the original and the secondary manuscripts constituting the palimpsest.


After graduation from St Petersburg State University as Historian/Lecturer in History (Medieval and Early Modern Studies) Natalia took postgraduate training at the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts of the Russian Academy of Sciences specialising in Syriac and Manuscript Studies. Her PhD thesis is focused on identification and diplomatic edition of selected liturgical texts belonging to the Syriac Melkite tradition and broader research interests include the study of textual transmission between Greek, Syriac, Armenian and Arabic traditions in the Middle Ages as well as the manuscript production in Byzantium and the Middle East. The publications cover the fields of hymnology, patristic literature, codicology, and Syriac manuscripts from the Central Asia. Before joining the University of Manchester, Natalia curated Syriac collections at the Intitute of Oriental Manuscripts in St Petersburg and held research fellowships at the French School in Rome, the Warburg Institute (University of London), Laboratoire des études sémitiques anciennes (CNRS - Collège de France) and the John Rylands Research Institute (Project: 'Studies in the History of the Syriac Octoechos', 2015).

Areas of expertise

Education / academic qualifications

  • 2018 - Master of Arts University College London (UCL) (2013 - 2018)
  • 2007 - Doctor of Philosophy, History (Syriac Studies), Institute of Oriental Manuscripts, Russian Academy of Sciences (2000 - 2007)
  • 2000 - Bachelor of Arts, History (Medieval and Early Modern Studies), St Petersburg State University (1995 - 2000)

Related information


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